Do I Have Depression?

Depressed girl sitting on a bench

Depression might be defined as having feelings of severe despondency and dejection. We have all felt a little depressed from time to time. However, it is when we experience depression symptoms over a period of time that we might want to seek some professional help.

Depression Symptoms

Common Feelings

  • Guilt
  • Irritable
  • Unhappy
  • Disappointment
  • Sad
  • Miserable

Physical Symtoms

  • Feelings of fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Appetite changes
  • Fluctuations in weight
  • Muscle pains
  • Headaches

Typical Thoughts

  • I am worthless
  • It was my fault
  • I am inadequate
  • My life is pointless
  • The world would be bette off without me
  • I am a failure

Common Behaviours

  • Withdrawal
  • Isolating
  • Experiential avoidance through substance abuse
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Loss of interest in enjoyable activities
  • Struggling to complete every day tasks

DSM-5 Depressive Disorder Criteria

DSM-IV criteria for Major Depressive Disorder states

  • Depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities for more than two weeks.
  • Mood represents a change from the person's baseline.
  • Impaired function: social, occupational, educational.

Specific symptoms in at least 5 of these 9, present nearly every day

  • Depressed mood or irritable most of the day, nearly every day
  • Decreased interest or pleasure in most activities, most of each day
  • Significant weight change (5%) or change in appetite
  • Change in sleep: Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Change in activity: Psychomotor agitation or retardation
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Guilt/worthlessness: Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt
  • Concentration: diminished ability to think or concentrate
  • Suicidality: Thoughts of death or suicide, or has suicide plan

Indications which may indicate depression include:

  • Irrational worry
  • Preoccupation with unpleasant worries
  • Trouble relaxing
  • Feeling tense
  • Fear that something awful might happen

The likelihood of someone suffering from depression is influenced by biochemistry, genetics, personality and environmental factors. For example, continuous exposure to violence, neglect or abuse.

90% of people respond positively to depression therapy and or medication or a combination of the two. We advise you to consult your doctor if you feel you are suffering from depression.